Skoda to assemble electric cars in India starting from 2027, aims affordability

  • Skoda is betting big on electric mobility in India as a key pillar for its growth strategy in the country.
Skoda Enyaq iV
Skoda is betting big on electric mobility in India as a key pillar for its growth strategy in the country. (REUTERS)
Skoda Enyaq iV
Skoda is betting big on electric mobility in India as a key pillar for its growth strategy in the country.

Skoda Auto India, the Indian subsidiary of the Czech automaker under Volkswagen Group plans to start assembling electric cars in India, starting in 2027, according to a report by PTI. The report has quoted Skoda Auto India’s Brand Director Petr Janeba saying that the car manufacturer is planning big with electric mobility for the country.

Skoda has already revealed its plan to launch the Enyaq EV in India in 2024. The automaker is currently testing the electric SUV in the country ahead of its nearing launch. Local assembling of the electric car in India will enable Skoda to achieve the goal of keeping the pricing of the EV affordable, which would eventually help the brand to reach its target of grabbing five per cent market share in Indian passenger vehicle space by 2030. as revealed by Skoda Auto CEO Klaus Zellmer.

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Speaking about the automaker’s EV strategy in India, Janeba said that in the next three years, the OEM aims to launch six electric cars globally and out of them, one specific model will be brought here. "We are deep in e-mobility. In the next three years we will expand to six models and out of this, one specific model we should bring to India as well," he reportedly said.

Watch: Skoda Enyaq EV makes India debut at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo

Skoda to assemble EVs in India

Speaking about Skoda Auto India's plans for electric vehicles, Janeba said that the automaker's ultimate target is to assemble electric cars locally in the country by 2027. "The ultimate target is latest by 2027 we will be assembling full battery electric vehicle here in India," he added. Initially, Skoda Auto India aims to start its EV operations in India by importing completely built units (CBU). "There are various scenarios depending on the regulation but we will probably start with (import of) CBU (completely built unit)... we think that something should come even in 2024," Jasneba said.

He further stated that the OEM's focus on electric mobility is in alignment with the government of India's push for EVs, targeting 30 per cent of new car sales to be electric by 2030. He also noted that electric mobility is going to be one of the two pain pillars of Skoda's growth strategy in India, while the other one is the compact SUV it has promised to bring next year, which will be based on Kushaq's platform. "The compact SUV is next year. E-mobility strategy will probably start this year but it will be more or less 'testing the waters' strategy for us with CBU imports and then we have to go deeper (in terms of local assembly)," Janeba added.

Why focus on compact SUV

Compact SUV is one of the fastest-growing segments in the Indian passenger vehicle market. Affordability thanks to the compact size and the feel of boxy SUVs has been propelling growth in this segment. Tata Motors, Hyundai, Mahindra, and Kia have already launched their respective products in this space. Skoda too aims to a sizeable chunk of the segment with its promised compact SUV.

Speaking on the upcoming compact SUV, Janeba reportedly said that the automaker hopes to sell about 90,000 units of the model annually and it can even go higher to one lakh. "63 per cent of the new car buyers in India, choose a sub-four meter and we were not present in this segment and if we want to start in this segment, it's absolutely logical that we take the most desirable and the fastest growing segment which is the SUVs," he reportedly said, while adding, "In the addressable market in India, out of last year 4 million sold cars we saying that the potential for our compact SUV is anywhere between 60,000 and 90,000 cars."

No matter what, Skoda hopes that the upcoming compact SUV will help the automaker to double its sales volumes in India. Also, it would help the OEM to tap tier three and four cities across India for which the OEM plans to expand its sales network in the coming months.

First Published Date: 28 Feb 2024, 12:26 PM IST

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